CARPENDALE Reuben Benjamin

Known information

Stoker Reuben Carpendale died in the great naval battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916 when his ship HMS Black Prince was sunk with all hands. Another Rutlander was also on board and also died, Sidney Stimpson. Reuben was born in Ashwell on 1 August 1887, the son of Herbert and Anna Carpendale, the second of three sons. The family moved to Lincolnshire not long after Reuben's birth. After working as a grocer's assistant, he joined the Royal Navy in March 1904, and began a 12 year Coninuous Service Engagement on 1 August 1905, his eighteenth birthday. His parents moved to Sutton on Trent, Nottinghamshire, and in 1913 they took up an offer from a long lost uncle to emigrate to New Zealand. Reuben was staying with his cousins in Egleton when war broke out, with ambitions to eventually follow his parents. He had already served on a number of different ships before becoming a Stoker, First Class, aboard the armoured cruiser HMS Black Prince which was to meet disaster at Jutland. Extract from Jutland by Captain Donald MacIntyre published in 1957: Another encounter had ended in disaster for a British ship. The cruiser Black Prince which, at the first meeting of the two main fleets had followed her flagship, Defence, into action and been roughly handled at the time that Defence had been blown up and Warrior disabled, had been left behind by the Grand Fleet's turn to the southward after deployment. For some reason which will never be known, she was still at this time far astern of and out of touch with the British fleet; but when a line of battleships was dimly seen ahead, it was nodoubt thought that they were the British squadrons. Course was altered to close them. At a bare half-mile range, the German recognition signal flashed out. The horrified Captain Bonham, swung his ship away in a desperate effort to escape, but it was too late. In the battleship Thuringen the same deadly efficient night action procedure that had been displayed at the head of the line went into play. Brilliantly lit by half-a-dozen searchlights, the Black Prince was raked from stern to stem by a tornado of shells and lay a helpless wreck before she could even fire a shot in reply. As she drifted down the German line, ship after ship opened up on her, Thuringen, Ostfriesland, Nassau and, finally, as the fleet flagship Friedrich der Grosse, added her quota, the Black Prince met the same end as the Defence, blowing up with a tremendous explosion, vanishing with all hands. George Phillips wrote of Reuben Carpendale: "He was a well read young man, especially keen on eugenics, and had a clear insight into foreign political relations. When visiting England in August 1912, he was most emphatic in stating that there would be a war with Germany within two years. In the last letter home, he wrote: 'There will be many grieve for loved ones, for it is good to die for the freedom of the dear old land, and I am quite sure we are going to come out on top.'" Reuben is remembered on Panel 17 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and also on the war memorial in Sutton on Trent. But he is not remembered in his home village of Ashwell, or in Egleton where he spent the months leading up to war.

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  • Sutton on Trent Church 2
  • Sutton on Trent Memorial
  • Portsmouth Naval Memorial 1
  • Portsmouth Naval Memorial 2
  • Panel 17
  • R Carpendale

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Reuben Carpendale is remembered on the Roll of Honour in All Saints Church in Sutton on Trent, Newark Notts.
By Hilary on Monday 18th August '14 at 4:25pm

Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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